During fawning reports on Thursday's NBC Nightly News and Friday's Today, the network's news personalities expressed thrill over the discovery of a collection of JFK memorabilia once owned by Kennedy aide Dave Powers, with anchor Brian Williams raving: "It's an intimate collection of time spent with the President of the United states and his family. It's the kind of memorabilia only a close friend would have. And it shows a man, our president, up close." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
What the coverage failed to mention was the recent shocking revelation by former White House intern and Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford that the late President once pressured her to perform oral sex on Powers during one their trysts. The omission was particularly surprising since Alford recalled the incident in an exclusive interview with Meredith Vieira aired on NBC's Rock Center in February of 2012.
The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair has raised and will continue to raise a number of questions.
First among them (OK, maybe not first, national security being more important, but stay with me) is why should he have resigned? I am always amused when journalists use the words "sex scandal" when writing about such things. Having abandoned most standards for what used to be called "upright behavior," culture now "tsk-tsks" when someone is caught in a compromising position.
As the discussions about sex and sex scandals dominate the media due to the Petraeus affair, one affair the media are strangely silent about is that of New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who was handily reelected last week despite shocking allegations that his idea of an Easter vacation was flying to the Dominican Republican to soliciting sex from prostitutes. Oh, and, like Secret Service agents in Colombia before him, the hookers are saying that he stiffed them on the tab.
The latest development in the Menendez saga, according to Scott Wong at Politico is that:
In attempt to deflect the growing scandal surrounding former CIA director David Petreaus away from President Obama, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd parroted administration spin on the controversy: "...they do believe they're a little insulated here, because Petraeus isn't considered an Obama guy. If anything, he's more of a Republican guy at the end of the day." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Anchor Brian Williams wondered about the timing of the scandal: "What if this had come out during the election campaign?" Todd described how relieved the Obama campaign team was that it didn't: "Well, look, it's something that the political team here at the White House is glad that they didn't have to test that hypothetical."
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, liberal historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin pleaded for the American people to excuse extramarital affairs of public figures like David Petraeus: "What would we have done if FDR had not been our leader because he had an affair with Lucy Mercer? Think of the productive years that Clinton could have had if Monica Lewinsky hadn't derailed them. We've got to figure out a way that we give a private sphere for our public leaders. We're not gonna get the best people in public life if we don't do that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Sharyl Attkisson filed a hard-hitting report on the possible ties between former CIA chief David Petraeus's resignation and the continuing controversy over the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson spotlighted how Petraeus told several members of Congress that "video of the Benghazi attack supports an element of spontaneity, as the administration first claimed."
Anchor Charlie Rose also hyped Rep. Peter King's theory on General Petraeus's resignation: "The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says the timing of the resignation suggests a cover-up. Petraeus was scheduled to testify to Congress this week about the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
Thirteen Catholic church abuse articles made the front page; just one BBC piece did
Lead sentence linked Pope to scandals 20 times; linked new Times boss to BBC scandals just once.
It’s a horrifying and tragically familiar story: A beloved and trusted institution is rocked by allegations of sexual abuse of minors over many years. Intrepid reporters dig to learn how the crimes could have gone on so for so long, who knew about them, and if officials kept it quiet. Story after newspaper story leads with speculation that corruption may be systemic and the cover-up may go all the way to the man at the top.
Andrea Mitchell was willing to peddle the Obama party line regarding the Petraeus matter . . . but Joe Scarborough wasn't buying. On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell dutifully reported that "according to all the officials involved," President Obama was not informed about Petraeus until the Thursday after the election.
Scarborough dropped something of a bombshell, saying he "heard about something like this coming several weeks ago." Said Scarborough emphatically: "don't tell me the White House didn't know. That is not true." View the video after the jump.
Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo and star puppeteer for PBS, who the taxpayer-funded network promoted with a documentary called Being Elmo -- "has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy" when he was 45, reported TMZ.
Clash "adamantly denies" the allegations, but "has acknowledged to TMZ he had a relationship with the young man -- but insists it only took place AFTER the accuser was an adult." The accuser met with lawyers for Sesame Workshop. Clash said "I had a relationship with [the accuser]. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to make it into something it was not." TMZ added:
On Monday and Tuesday, MSNBC won over Fox News in the ratings in the key demographic of viewers 25 to 54 -- the prized audience for advertisers. Rachel Maddow had bigger ratings in the demo than longtime cable-news ratings king Bill O'Reilly. In their time slots, Maddow defeated Hannity, and Lawrence O'Donnell beat out Greta van Susteren in those numbers.
Almost immediately, the wins went to leftist heads at the Daily Kos.The headline was "Romney's 47% Fiasco Fuels MSNBC Ratings Rout For Rachel Maddow." "News Corpse" insisted, "Viewers are responding to the editorial content of MSNBC and its most dynamic presenters. It's still way too soon to make definitive statements or projections, but the gathering trends are promising. Now all MSNBC has to do is capitalize on the new attention they are receiving and bring in new talent." His recommendation: disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner.
Each morning, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala September 27. (Click here for details and ticket information.)
If you’ve missed a previous blog, recounting the worst of 1988 through 1997, you can find them here. Today, the worst bias of 1998: Journalists disparage Ken Starr for investigating Bill Clinton's tawdry scandals, while an ex-Time magazine correspondent reveals the depth of her appreciation for Clinton's pro-abortion policies. [Quotes and video below the jump.]
Minnesota Democratic State Rep. Kerry Gauthier has had a rough go of it lately. Embroiled in a sex scandal that has attracted the attention of national media outlets, Gauthier has gone from waging a promising reelection bid for his seat, to being caught engaged in oral sex acts at a rest stop with a teenage boy, to pulling out of the race and facing possible expulsion from the Minnesota legislature.
Gauthier does have one place in which he can reliably look for cover on this story however – CNN.
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, advertising executive Donny Deutsch predicted a political comeback for disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner: "...he's a good politician, I think he will get a second chance." The network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman gushed: "He's cuckoo smart, he's a great representative, and no one understands health care and I think the problems better than he." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In a teaser for a CNN interview airing next Tuesday, liberal comedian David Letterman denied a partisan bias and said he is a "registered independent." He also pitied former President Bill Clinton for getting "hammered" by the press during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in an interview that will air on Piers Morgan Tonight with guest host Regis Philbin.
"Poor Bill Clinton. No president that I'm aware of got hammered harder than Bill – President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky situation," mused Letterman. "We beat up on him. We still use him as a reference."
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about new French President Francois Hollande having a girlfriend, advertising executive Donny Deutsch insisted Americans would soon accept the same: "I think we're ready for it....the culture that grew up on the internet, that is not going to keep prisoner candidates or people because they've had some personal mishaps, infidelities. I think the rest of the world has grown up, we're going to eventually get there." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Media Research Center's Dan Gainor tipped me to a remarkable development this afternoon. Someone at the Atlantic, probably with the help of commenters there, took notice of the noise being made by Doug Ross, yours truly (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), and probably others, and took some action on a disgracefully written 1,800-word article about the upcoming trial of John Edwards by Hampton Dellinger ("Why the John Edwards Trial Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think") -- for the better.
Doug's more than valid complaint was that Dellinger never tagged the former 2008 Democratic presidential contender who was also the party's vice-presidential nominee in 2004 and (shudder) would have become Vice President if Bush v. Kerry in Ohio had gone the other way, as a Democrat. Yet Dellinger was somehow still able to mention the Republican Party or specific Republicans five times. I further noted that the author's bio was totally inadequate, as it never mentioned his unsuccessful run -- as a Democrat, of course -- for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina in 2008. These shortcomings have been fixed, as will be shown after the jump.
You "can't blame" President Barack Obama for high gas prices. "Desperate" Republicans are hoping for the scandal-free Obama to have a scandal. When a conservative woman denounces absurd gender politics it's simply "a ventriloquist act" for "patriarchal ideas."
Those were the gems which stumbled out of the mouths, respectively, of conservative columnist S.E. Cupp, Democratic strategist Krystal Ball, and Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, all panelists on today's edition of the Martin Bashir program on MSNBC. The topic at hand was how Republicans were pressing the Obama administration over the Secret Service prostitution scandal.
Jury selection in the trial of two-time Democratic Party presidential candidate and John Kerry's Democratic Party running mate in the 2004 election John Edwards began on Thursday. In the related five-paragraph Associated Press story, Michael Biesecker actually identified Edwards as a Democrat in his fourth of his five paragraphs.
That's not a stellar performance (a Republican or conservative in the kind of trouble Edwards is in would have his or her party identified in either the headline, the first paragraph, or both), but at least the party label is present. As blogger extraordinaire Doug Ross noted earlier this evening, in an 1,800-word item at the Atlantic on Wednesday ("Why the John Edwards Trial Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think"), author and undisclosed former Democratic candidate for statewide office Hampton Dellinger failed to name Edwards's party at all, while figuring out a way to tag something or someone "Republican" five times. Here are the opportunities studiously avoided in his treatise only relating to variations on the word "president" (bolded by me):
New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters on Tuesday defended Republican Gov Nikki Haley of South Carolina from a phony scandal story that made the rounds of the media via Twitter last week, in "A Lie Races On Twitter Before Truth Can Boot Up." Peters reminded readers that Haley had previously been hit with an "unfounded blog report of marital infidelity." So why did the Times eagerly make that "unfounded" report a news story in 2010?
The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog network bills itself as “a conversation on religion and politics.” But the conversation of “On Faith” more accurately resembles a diatribe justifying liberal politics with religious imagery.
During this past week, Becky Garrison claimed that Christian actor Kirk Cameron was not a Christian because he opposes homosexual marriage, and Lisa Miller declared that “In churches across the land, women are still treated as second class citizens.”
Anyone who saw what the Associated Press wrote when former Bush 43 press secretary Tony Snow died in 2008 (original AP article; related NewsBusters post) knew that the wire service would do what it could to subtly distort Andrew Breitbart's considerable accomplishments in exposing leftist hatred, duplicity, and criminality. The only question was what form(s) it would take.
Not surprisingly, reporters/distorters Philip Elliott and Sue Manning misrepresented or omitted key elements of the three episodes for which Breitbart will be best remembered -- the James O'Keefe-led ACORN stings; Shirley Sherrod, Pigford lawsuit opportunist; and his exposure (so to speak) of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner's sleazy online escapades. The 11:44 a.m. version of their report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purporses) was bad enough. In their 1:56 p.m. revision (saved here), perhaps egged on by the vitriol which has been posted all day at leftist sites, they descended into cheap-shot name-calling adjectives which would rarely if ever be used to describe activist leftists. In his opening hour today, Rush Limbaugh covered some of what happened during the three key episodes; I will expand on them later in the post:
CNN's Don Lemon on Sunday asked viewers, "Why are there so many more examples of gay conservative closet cases?"
In a segment about homosexual scandals in the Republican Party, Lemon answered his own question saying, "Perhaps the GOP’s own repressive platform is the very thing that forces gay members to live a lie" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
In a live interview with John F. Kennedy mistress Mimi Alford on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry fretted over her sharing unflattering details about the late president: "What about Caroline [Kennedy], who is still alive?...Did you think about, as you talk about unburdening yourself, the idea that you've burdened other people now with this?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Alford stood by her decision to go public with the affair: "Well, I don't intentionally burden someone else. I'm telling my story. And that is what – that is what I needed to do." Curry followed up: "Any push-back from the Kennedy family? Yes or no?" Alford replied: "No, nothing."
Following a revealing interview with former JFK mistress Mimi Alford on Wednesday's NBC Rock Center, left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews, along with liberal historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Richard Reeves, were invited on the broadcast to give a sycophantic defense of the womanizing president. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Touting his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero," Matthews proclaimed: "The greatest heroes are often the most flawed." The Hardball host went on to gush over how Kennedy "colorized American politics....made it a technicolor movie, he made it exciting." In his characteristic fashion, Matthews concluded: "And so with it all, the total picture still arouses the country."
Bill Clinton has done hundreds of TV interviews since leaving office in 2001, and journalists have very rarely found it appropriate to revisit his sex scandals. But for CNN, Republicans merit an entirely different standard of coverage.
On Monday's Early Start, co-host Ashleigh Banfield insisted to Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) that "I got to" bring up his 2007 prostitution scandal, so she could ask how Newt Gingrich could "manage the baggage" of his personal sex life. Vitter fired back that "the good news is, in America, it's not up to CNN" how the GOP presidential nominee is chosen. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
In the annals of fawning coverage of scandal-plagued Democrats, Michael Biesecker's Saturday morning report on John Edwards's illness and its effect on his upcoming trail on campaign finance violations surely must be among the worst.
Biesecker missed at least a half-dozen natural opportunities to tag Edwards as a Democrat, finally doing so in cryptic fashion in his 15th of 17 paragraphs. He didn't identify Edwards as the 2004 vice-presidential candidate until that same paragraph, and in doing so named who was at the top of the GOP ticket (George W. Bush) without naming who was at the top of the Dems' (John Kerry). The AP reporter threw obsequious virtual kisses at a man who betrayed his terminally ill wife while omitting two clearly relevant recent reports, one from an outlet which has scooped the look-the-other-way establishment press time after time in this sad, four-year saga. Here are several paragraphs from Biescecker's blather (some of the many clear opportunities to tag Edwards as a Dem and examples of over-the-top fawning are bolded):
CBS's Bob Schieffer led his interview of Herman Cain on Tuesday's Early Show by asking, "Why did you accept the invitation?" Cain must have been wondering that himself by the end of the segment, as Schieffer and Norah O'Donnell conducted a hostile interrogation of the entrepreneur, pressing him about his qualifications to be secretary of defense, and even asked about the state of his marriage.
The Face the Nation host, filling in as CBS transitions to its new morning show lineup, noted how someone at his network "had the idea...why don't we ask Herman Cain to come on?...Well, of all things he said, yes." Schieffer then turned to the former GOP presidential candidate and asked his "why accept the invitation" question, adding, "Do you have something you want to tell us this morning? Are you going to endorse a candidate? What brings you to television this morning?"
On the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion this weekend, NPR star Garrison Keillor sang a different version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." It had a slightly different melody, and mocked Newt Gingrich, without naming him. Keillor sang: "Don’t think a sense of style conceals your escapades / Don’t vote to impeach Bill Clinton while shacking up with Congressional aides." Gingrich was cheating on his second wife (with his eventual third wife) at that time in 1998.
Keillor also sang that Santa is watching for who is "beating up on" gays or minorities. There's nothing wrong with opposing physical violence or mean-spirited bullying -- but with NPR, you'd have to suspect Keillor is implying a broader argument about conservative arguments against gay marriage or "affirmative action." Keillor sang: